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The Friendly Club!

The St George Chess Club prides itself on a diverse membership with a range of chess abilities. We foster a social atmosphere for players of all ages and abilities.

The club runs regular internal club competitions and participates in interclub tournaments. More information about the activities can be found from the calendar.

Club Games: 7:30pm Tuesday nights, Prince Edward Rooms, St George Leagues Club, 124 Princes Highway, Kogarah NSW

Improving the experience of lower-rated players

The Club is keen to find a way for new and lower-rated players (mainly adults but also some juniors) to improve their skills, and thus their enjoyment of the game.

We believe that a good club is one that has strength at both ends of the ability spectrum. The club does a great job of nurturing the talented, but is concerned with the large turn-over of potential competition chess players at the lower end.  Many newcomers, trying to find their feet in chess, play maybe one or two tournaments only to disappear from competition after that. One reason for the turn-over is obvious: novices and lower-rated players lose much more often than better players, a fact that better players tend to forget. These two sub-groups really have to love the game, or develop a thick skin, to continue. Or they can get some assistance to see them through to the next level.

Accordingly, we would like to test the interest among lower-rated adult players in having some informal discussion about play at their level and receiving a little coaching.

We are pitching this project at novice and lower-rated adults first-up (with ratings from zero up to about 1200). The discussion/coaching forum would be conducted by people only a little higher up in the ratings than that. Why do we think novices and newcomers are more likely to benefit from a lower-rated coach?  Basically, we believe it’s important to have leader who have personal experience of exactly what the group’s playing ability level is and who understands the specific difficulties such players face. Better players can always be brought in to assist if the idea has some success.

There are several reasons for focusing on adults. First, it’s generally within the (lower-rated) adult player-group that most losses occur. Second, a lot of our juniors already get some form of coaching. Finally, this being a pilot program for all concerned, a fairly age-homogeneous group will put fewer demands on the ‘coach’.

First Steps

With all this in mind, the Committee would like to use the coming Social night / Intra-team selection night of Tuesday 4 June to gauge the level of interest in these ideas, and maybe open up a few topics for general discussion. If anyone would like to discuss the matter beforehand, please contact Club Vice-President Peter at pswinton@bigpond.net.au or just turn up on the night to join in the chat, and talk to Peter personally.

To the parents of children who may also be interested, your child is welcome to attend but please be aware of these two points:

1. The project is not open to children who receive chess coaching of any sort already, anywhere – whether that is at school or with professional coaches. (There may be room for club coaching of such juniors soon, but this group is not it. This is solely for people who have no chess help.)

2. Secondly, the child’s language skills would need to be almost at adult level already. It takes a special sort of teacher to teach kids at earlier developmental levels, and that is more the province of a professional chess coach.

Round 8 of the 2024 Club Champs

Division One had a big shake-up last week, with Khishigbataar Bayasgalan having her first loss, to Terrence Tang. While she is still ahead by a full point, her final round sees her playing John-Stuart Plant. This means Daniel Melamed, playing Arthur Huynh, has a chance to catch her if he wins and she loses. John-Stuart is third-placed.

Division Two is also still wide open, with Michael Babic, on 6, only a half point ahead of Ted Power, with Jose Escribano a further half-point back. Division Three is not yet decided either, but Volkan Soker (6/8), is a full point ahead of Ramu Srinirasa and Christian Lagarez on 5. Ashton Li, on 7.8, is uncatchable in Division Four, leading Ralph Shaw by 2 points, and Robert Fenton-Lee by 2.5. Huey Teng had a zero-point bye in Round 8 of Division Five, but on 7/8 he cannot but win the group, leading Ralph Mitchell by two points, with Peter Swinton third on 4.5. The tussle between Stephen Manwarring and Ken Eldridge in Division 6 has an anticlimactic, but fitting conclusion: Stephen has a zero-point bye and thus he will be caught by Ken, who has a one-point forfeit, both players ending up with 7 points, without even having to turn up! Isaac Wang has done well, to score four points, and Ethan Currie and Samuel Slingo both sit on 3.5. In Division 7, Dimitrios Gourlas, on 6, leads Zachary Lee by a half-point, with Robert Roszkowski a further half-point back.

Round 7 of the 2024 Club Champs

With another win in Round 7, Khishigbataar Bayasgalan on 6.5 points may well have wrapped up the Championship, although there is still a chance that the final round clash between her and John-Stuart Plant (5) might be decisive. Daniel Melamed is currently third on 4 points, but he has one adjourned game up his sleeve.

Division Two is very tight, with Michael Babic and Ted Power now sharing the lead on 4.5/7, leading Graham Saint, Brian Allison and Jose Escribano, all on 4. Ramu Srinirasa still leads Division Three but is now tied together with Volkan Soker, both on 5/7. John Nichas and James Zaverdinos sit just behind on 4.5, with Christian Lagarez on 4. Ashton Li continues to lead in Division 4, his five points putting him one clear of Ralph Shaw, followed by Robert Fenton-Lee and Kevin Liu on 3.5. Huey Teng remains on a perfect score in Division 5, 7/7, three points clear of Ralph Mitchell and Peter Swinton, with Aaron Hu on 3.5. The deadlock between Stephen Manwarring and Ken Eldridge was resumed in Division 6, where, with 6/7, they sit well clear of Ethan Currie and Samuel Slingo on 3.5. Zach Lee has pulled ahead to take the sole lead in Division 7, on 5.5, just ahead of Dimitrios Gourlas (5) and Anujin Soo on 4.5.



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